I’ve often wondered how my life would look, if I’d made different choices along the way. It’s a concept that Sue Shepherd explores in Love Them and Leave Them. Today I’m thrilled to be playing host to the blog tour for this fab novel.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Love Them and Leave Them* for review. The opinions in this post are my own and unbiased.
Small decisions can make a big impact on your life. Ed has to decide whether to hit the rabbit sitting in the middle of the road or swerve to avoid it. He swerves, skids on the greasy road and hits a tree, dying instantly. Years later, his daughter Jessie has given up her plans to go to university. Instead, she is working as a waitress with her friend Coco in a dodgy Italian restaurant. She’s also got a very dodgy on-off boyfriend, whose name is Chris.
In a different life, Ed reluctantly hits the bunny and carries on home to his wife and daughter. Jessica goes on to study law at university and becomes a barrister. She’s also thinking of buying a house with her boyfriend Nick. Then she is asked to take on a case by waitress Coco and her dodgy boyfriend, Chris…
This was such a fun book to read. The chapters alternate between the two timelines, and using Jessie/Jessica as the main character’s name helps to keep them very clearly separate in the reader’s mind. All of the other characters remain the same in each story, although the way that they come into contact with Jessie/Jessica varies. In Jessica’s story, we discover that she is from a very close-knit family and is particularly close to her father. So it’s no surprise that in Jessie’s story, his death has such an impact on her life.
I’ve always loved the ‘Sliding Doors’ idea, and this book handles the concept really well. Each of the storylines would work very well as a stand-alone novel, but together they make a very entertaining read. Although this is a romantic comedy novel, there are elements of intrigue in it as well and it gets quite tense at times! I was intrigued to see how Sue Shepherd would handle wrapping up the two plots, and I’m happy to say that she didn’t disappoint.
Love Them and Leave Them is Sue Shepherd’s second novel. I enjoyed this so much that I have now downloaded her first novel (Doesn’t Everyone Have A Secret?*) to read in the future.
On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.
But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.
Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.
Summary: A fun read, examining how even small choices can have a big impact on someone’s life – 8.5/10